DWG

The Digitalisation Working Group informs and advances the digitalisation of energy-efficient technologies.

Participating Members

United States
Australia
Brazil
Canada
Denmark
European Commission
France
Germany
Japan
Russian Federation

* Led by the United States.

United States

The United States is the world’s largest economy and a top energy producer and consumer. Policies have fostered action on energy efficiency, most recently via the 2022 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act.

Hub involvement

The US has become a net energy exporter due to advances in oil and gas extraction. Fossil fuels dominate US energy supply, although significant shares of electricity are supplied by nuclear, hydropower and, increasingly, wind and solar power.

Numerous federal, state and local government agencies are responsible for a great variety of policies and measures to promote energy efficiency. Key tools include financial incentives, minimum energy performance standards and labels for appliances and equipment.

The United States is represented on the Hub’s Steering Committee by the Department of Energy, leads the Digitalisation Working Group, and contributes to the Hub’s Policy Exchange Workshops.

Australia

Australia is among the world’s largest countries by land area, with abundant fossil and renewable energy resources. The country has enacted extensive energy efficiency policies in multiple sectors.

Hub involvement

Australia has abundant energy resources, and while oil products account for more than half of total energy consumption, the country is transforming its energy sector while fostering reliability and security of supply.

Energy performance standards for buildings and appliances are supported through a variety of programmes such as grants for businesses. Policies vary across states, with some pursuing net-zero objectives.

Australia is represented on the Hub’s Steering Committee by the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. It participates in several Task Groups, and participates in the Hub’s Policy Exchange Workshops.

Brazil

Brazil is the fifth-largest country in the world by area and the largest energy consumer in South America. It has long-standing national energy efficiency policies, including utility-funded programmes for consumers and appliance energy standards and labels.

Hub involvement

Renewables meet 45% of Brazil’s primary energy demand, making the energy sector one of the least carbon-intensive in the world. Hydropower accounts for around 80% of electricity generation.

Key policy mechanisms include building codes, standards for space cooling equipment and measures promoting energy management systems.

Brazil is represented on the Hub’s Steering Committee by the Ministério de Minas e Energia, participates in all Task Groups, and contributes to the Hub’s Policy Exchange Workshops.

Canada

Canada is the second-largest country in the world in area and has an abundance of energy resources. An ambitious national clean energy agenda aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40-45% by 2030, compared to 2005.

Hub involvement

With robust reserves of oil and natural gas, Canada is an energy exporter. Sectoral energy demand is divided roughly equally between industry, transport, and buildings. Oil supplies nearly half of the nation’s energy consumption, followed by natural gas and electricity.

The country’s policy measures include, among others, a plan to transform the buildings sector through updated building codes and funding for new energy-efficient buildings.

Canada is represented on the Hub’s Steering Committee by Natural Resources Canada, participates in several Task Groups, and participates in the Hub’s Policy Exchange Workshops.

Denmark

Denmark is small in area yet over 80% of its electricity is generated with domestic clean and renewable energy. The country has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and has a comprehensive portfolio of energy efficiency policies alongside other decarbonisation measures.

Hub involvement

Recently, Denmark has achieved a nearly equal balance of energy imports and exports. While the share of renewables is rising, fossil fuels still account for over half of primary energy.

The Danish Energy Agency and the Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate have implemented policies across all sectors, including an Energy Savings Obligation Scheme, which enables savings and trading of credits among 500 major energy entities.

Denmark is represented on the Hub’s Steering Committee by the Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate. It participates in the Digitalisation Working Group, and contributes to the Hub’s Policy Exchange Workshops.

European Commission

The European Union is made up of 27 member states, together constituting the second-largest economy in the world. The European Commission is its executive arm. The 2019 European Green Deal contains many energy efficiency measures and aims to make the European Union climate-neutral by 2050.

Hub involvement

The European Union accounts for 12% of global energy consumption, with fossil fuels comprising 72% of the overall energy mix.

The EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive is the main EU-wide instrument that sets efficiency targets and obligations for member states. The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive promotes green buildings and drives efficiency renovation. The Energy Union Strategy puts energy efficiency first and ensures a collaborative approach among member states.

The Commission is represented on the Hub’s Steering Committee by the Directorate-General for Energy, co-leads the SEAD Task Group, participates in other Task Groups, and contributes to the Hub’s Policy Exchange Workshops.

France

France has the second-largest economy in Europe and was an early leader in decarbonisation. Its energy policies are guided by the National Low-Carbon Strategy, which includes a range of energy efficiency measures.

Hub involvement

France imports about half of its energy. Domestic energy production is largely decarbonised, with 79% from nuclear power and 17% from bioenergy, hydropower, wind and solar.

The country’s many energy efficiency measures include tax and loan schemes for building retrofits, the Heat Fund, and certificats d’économies d’énergie (CEE) to incentivise energy savings across the buildings, industry, and transport sectors.

France is represented on the Hub’s Steering Committee by the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion and participates in the Digitalisation Working Group as well as in the Hub’s Policy Exchange Workshops.

Germany

Germany has the largest economy in Europe, and is a leader in energy policy and technology. The government has implemented a wide variety of standards and initiatives promoting energy efficiency across all sectors.

Hub involvement

Germany imports two-thirds of its energy, and while most energy is provided by fossil fuels, renewable energy sources are rapidly becoming a larger share.

The national strategy for transitioning to a low-carbon economy, Energiewende, includes many energy efficiency measures, such as requiring large companies to conduct energy audits and enacting energy-efficient standards for appliances and buildings.

Germany is represented on the Hub’s Steering Committee by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, participates in all Task Groups, and contributes to the Hub’s Policy Exchange Workshops.

Japan

Japan is an island country with the third-largest economy in the world. It relies heavily on imports of fossil fuels, has a high share of nuclear power in its electricity mix, and has been a global leader in energy efficiency for decades.

Hub involvement

In recent years, Japan has become increasingly reliant on imports of oil, coal, and natural gas, which together account for 88% of Japan’s energy consumption.

The country has long-standing national policies and measures to foster energy efficiency. These include voluntary actions for industry (like the Top Runner Programme), vehicles and appliances. Standards are in place for products, vehicles, and industrial sectors.

Japan is represented on the Hub’s Steering Committee by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, leads the EMAK Task Group, participates in all Task Groups, and contributes to the Hub’s Policy Exchange Workshops.

Russian Federation

Russia, stretching across Europe and Asia, is the world’s largest country by size and a leading global exporter of energy. The country’s Energy Agency is responsible for the country’s energy efficiency policy measures.

Hub involvement

Russia is the world’s second-largest producer of natural gas and its largest exporter, and a leading oil exporter.

The country has created a legal and institutional framework to enhance efficient energy use. The Energy Strategy of Russia, adopted in 2009 includes a number of regional energy efficiency measures.

Russia is represented on the Hub’s Steering Committee by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, participates in Task Groups, and participates in the Hub’s Policy Exchange Workshops.

The Digitalisation Working Group’s first report

Digitalisation is creating new opportunities to optimize energy systems and decrease greenhouse gas emissions in power grids, buildings, transportation, manufacturing, oil and gas, and agriculture. Digitalisation could cut 10% of total building energy consumption by 2040.

The Digitalisation Working Group’s first report (September 2022) assesses the challenges, opportunities, successes, and lessons from national policies to accelerate digitalisation of building energy systems.

This two-page flyer offers a summary of the report while featuring key case studies.

Read Report

Roadmap on Digitalisation for Energy Efficiency in Buildings

This Roadmap builds on the Digitalisation Working Group’s first report, released in September 2022. It tackles the key barriers to digitalisation: interoperability, data availability and analysis, privacy, and cybersecurity.

The Roadmap identifies near-term, medium-term, and long-term approaches to addressing these barriers. It is meant as a guide for policymakers and other stakeholders to design programs that promote digital technologies to improve energy efficiency in buildings.

Read Report

Overcoming key barriers to digitalisation

  • Interoperability refers to the ability for software products and devices to communicate with each other within a building, among other buildings, and with the electric grid and its components. Key interoperability roadmap objectives include the following:

  • Equip consumers with actionable energy use information.

  • Ensure clear communications protocols between consumers and the external market.

  • Develop cybersecurity and privacy policies compatible with interoperability standards.

     

  • Learn more about interoperability.

  • Data availability refers to the need to have spatiotemporal data and/or device-specific data on building energy use available to end users, digital applications, and service providers. Key data availability and analysis roadmap objectives:

  • Develop infrastructure capable of accommodating many devices across the energy system and delivering granular data in real time.

  • Equip consumers with the data and resources to make decisions regarding their energy consumption.

  • Incentivise government-industry partnerships to lead improvements in data availability, quality, and analysis.

  • Learn more about data availability.

  • Privacy refers to consumer concerns about the mass collection of granular data on energy use and associated personal information. Consumers are worried about how data will be used, where the data are stored, and who can access the data. Key privacy roadmap objectives include the following:

  • Ensure that consumer data is safe from misuse and unauthorized access by enacting and enforcing clear regulations on data storage, handling, and transmission.

  • Use smart meter data responsibly with strong privacy protections in place to protect end users from social engineering, blackmail, and physical security threats.

  • Protect proprietary information to incentivise companies to cooperate in digitalization efforts and share data essential to energy.

  • Learn more about privacy.

  • Cybersecurity refers to risks associated with digital technologies for building energy efficiency relying on internet connections and computer networks. All connected devices are at risk for attacks, from building management systems to smart appliances. Key cybersecurity roadmap objectives:

  • Secure operation and data transmission to mitigate the risk of a cyberattack on a building or building system occurs.

  • To address security concerns, incorporate cybersecurity awareness into all phases of policy planning and digital tool design. 

  • Learn more about cybersecurity.

Building Efficiency and Digitalization: Industry Stakeholder Perspectives

Digitalization has been applied to improve energy efficiency in buildings since the first building automation systems were introduced in the 1970s. Since then, there have been many advances in technology, policies, and programs driving adoption of intelligent efficiency in buildings.

The article presents insights from a diverse set of industry leaders and delves deeper into challenges and opportunities related to emerging technologies and enabling practices and programs.

Read the Article
  1. Background
  2. Impact

Goals

The Task Group serves as a platform for Hub Members to coordinate, learn about each other’s experiences with digitalisation, and work jointly to understand key gaps and priority areas to upscale the use of digital technologies.

The DWG is a multi-year undertaking and it will be focusing on three major sectors. In the buildings sector, the use of energy management systems, smart controls and connected appliances can not only improve occupants’ comfort but also save energy. When it comes to industry, energy use optimization is as relevant as ever and in the transport sector, digitalization can improve fuel efficiency and enable autonomous driving.

  • Analyse policies and approaches to using digitalisation technologies to advance energy efficiency in different contexts and end-use sectors.
  • Identify lessons learned and best practices for future replication 
  • Identify shared challenges and barriers to address the most pressing issues
  • Share case studies among DWG members 
  • Enhance implementation of demand response and other demand flexibility policy measures

Background

Digitalisation is changing the energy landscape.

Digital technologies are already widely used in energy end-use sectors, with the widespread deployment of potentially transformative technologies on the horizon. Stunning advances in data, analytics, artificial intelligence and connectivity are enabling a range of new digital applications such as connected appliances, shared mobility, and smart manufacturing that can create more efficient, cleaner, resilient and sustainable energy systems over the coming decades. 

In this context, led by the United States, the DWG was created in 2021 with the mission of assessing the policy, regulatory, technology and investment context needed to accelerate progress on power system modernisation and effective utilization of demand side resources, leveraging the opportunities offered by digitalisation.

This is a government to government collaboration, drawing on the existing work of others that came before it, including the work of the IEA and its Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs), such as 3DEN and Users TCP.

This is a unique opportunity for governments to come together, learn from each other and to tackle existing barriers. 

Impact

Digitalisation is already improving the safety, productivity, accessibility and sustainability of energy systems.

Since the launch of the DWG, the United States, Denmark, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Russia, Japan, and France have played active roles in developing and promoting the Task Group, contributing to policy makers and industry stakeholders from different energy-consuming sectors.

In its first year of operations, the group produced the report Digitalisation for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings Operations: Lessons Learned from the EE Hub Digitalisation Working Group.

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